A/N: Warning. This is something I wrote in the early hours. Most of the things I write in the early hours are creepy and dark and extremely confusing. Nothing like what you would usually expect of me (and maybe even worse). Just a warning.

If anyone understands what the general gist of the plot is, do let me know. I'm curious.


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Taijiya must have a strong will, and a strong heart.

Oh, I do mother. I'm going to be the strongest taijiya in the village one day!

You're so sweet Sango. I know you and your new brother or sister will be wonderful exterminators.

When is it coming mother?

It's kicking, I can feel it. It's coming soon.

Mother? Is it coming now? Are you going?

Yes, it's time. Wait here, Sango. We'll see you in a bit.

Kohaku was born in the spring.

That was when Mother died.

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Keeper

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When they found me, I had been dazed and disoriented, unable to take a step without falling to my knees and barely able to hold my weapon straight.

He would kneel next to me, asking if I was okay; did something happen back there and are you keeping a secret - but he never asked me with his voice, no, it was always with his eyes.

Tell them nothing is wrong.

Nothing's wrong.

Now smile.

I'll smile.

-

The second week of a bitter winter and they still knew nothing. He watched mice in a maze run through the little hallways and bounce into one another, panicking, scurrying and stupid. Stupid they were, because they were humans.

He picked one up by the tail and flung it with ease into a pit of snakes.

-

"Sango, may I sit with you?"

Tell him yes.

"Yes."

"If there's anything I can do . . . I made you a promise and I will try to keep it and tell me what happened when you disappeared. Tell me."

Tell him you are fine and that it's too much to discuss. Mention your brother's name and he will be silenced in respect for you. Foolish human.

"Kohaku . . ."

"I understand, Sango. We will try our hardest to save him."

Say thank you. Are you forgetting that you're a polite little wench?

"Thank you."

Icicles glazed the branches of dead trees, not as dead as me, but dead still. At least I knew that when spring melted the ice, the plants would be born anew.

-

The little worthless group was upset, frustrated, tired, and confused.

They will never find my heart.

I'll tell them. I'll tell them soon, you bastard.

He gives me orders.

"Sango, you seem distant. You've been preoccupied. I am starting to suspect you. What is it? Give me a clue, a hint. I want to find out."

"Nothing, houshi-sama. I fear the chilly weather may have given me a cold, that's all."

We fought a horde of demons later that day. I was frozen stiff and it hurt as I strained myself. I nearly collapsed in a heap of exhaustion and cold sweat but no one had to worry. The demons never targeted me.

"I noticed your fatigue in battle today. We should find a village before your ailment worsens."

Say yes.

"Yes, we should."

Very good.

-

Inuyasha was in a horrible mood. We stayed indoors together around a crackling fire, listening to the sounds of sharp winds and hailstones bouncing off the thatched roof of the little inn.

"I'm sick of being in the route of Naraku's stupid demon parades," he was snarling, clutching his precious sword. "Every time they show up, I beat them down without breaking a sweat."

Don't laugh so haughtily hanyou. You fail to notice my presence right before you.

"Now if only we could find his damn heart . . ."

"You don't have to look that far!"

Bitch. My blood courses through your veins. Don't defy me.

"What are you talking about, Sango-chan?"

Houshi-sama is looking at me now. His eyes are dark, and he is calculating, assessing, understanding. Please, if you are a man of the cloth, allow whatever holiness that abides in you to see me for the child of Hell I have become!

Tell them nothing is wrong, dear taijiya.

I listen to my heart.

"I'm sorry, it was just a sudden outburst. Pay no attention."

The monk is suspicious. He knows. He knows something is wrong with you, you stupid girl. But he would never hurt you. Even if he did know what resides under your brittle ribcage; Even if he smelled on your blood the stench of a million demons and the entity that cursed his family line to death.

-

We are heading back to the well. Kagome-chan wishes to return home to find something warmer to wear. She needn't; winter is nearly over and we have travelled fairly quickly in the cold.

I am alone with him. We are sitting around a fire, houshi-sama, Shippou, Kirara and I, waiting for tomorrow in which we will continue searching for clues. Clues, shards and the whereabouts of Naraku's heart.

"Sango, Shippou is now asleep. Shall we retire as well?"

We shouldn't. Keep me awake, houshi-sama. Keep me awake.

Tell him yes.

"Yes."

Stop him for a moment.

"Houshi-sama?"

He looks at me questioningly, but still suspicious, and . . . distrusting? Then he can tell.

Ask him to stay with you tonight. In the same room.

"May we . . . may we share a room tonight?"

Threaten him not to act perverse.

"And if you try anything . . ."

He almost seemed to buy it.

Don't buy it!

He believed the farce.

I'll miss you houshi-sama.

You trusted me too much.

I listened to his quiet breathing. He had actually fallen asleep. For one who was so unsure of me as of late - not that he didn't have a reason not to be - he let his guard down rather quickly. I was disappointed.

Do it now.

I'll make one last plea. Don't make me do it. I'll do anything, I'll keep your horrid secret, I'll house your one weakness. I'll let you live in my head until you've driven me mad.

You already have, you bastard.

Do it now.

Taijiya must have strong will and a strong heart. I will resist you.

Without my heart, you will have none. You will die.

Let me die now.

He seizes me.

No.

Houshi-sama, I put my faith in you.

Draw your blade.

I drew the short sword from the little bundle beside me.

Do it. Before he can stop you.

You haven't failed me, houshi-sama! Take away my sword, tie me up, kill me! I'm a monster, I'm nothing but a monster. I am no longer Sango.

"Just what is going on Sango? I know . . . I knew it. Something has control of you. Something much . . . deeper and rooted than a simple spell."

It's so hard to speak. It's so hard to speak.

Do it.

"My heart, the one that was strong and disciplined, the heart of a taijiya, the one I gave to you, is destroyed."

Do it.

"In its place, is a blackened, corrupted, excuse for an organ that keeps him alive."

Do it, wench.

"I am the keeper, becoming worse than my brother. Naraku's calling to me. He wants me to kill you."

Do it, or I will simply take this heart back.

Take your heart back. It is not a heart. It is the root of all evil and the source of all sin.

You have no heart. I fed it to the demons as a treat.

Then I am dead.

I killed your brother, and I will kill the monk too.

He seizes me and I plunge my sword through my houshi-sama, my Miroku's chest.

Isn't it so much easier to listen?

I'm sorry, houshi-sama. I'm so sorry. Please, don't die yet. I will pull this blade from your flesh and point it to mine.

Don't resist me.

I will drive this blade through my chest, through my ribcage, where it will puncture my pretty little heart.

Don't resist me.

I will slump upon your chest, demanding my lifeless body to make one last attempt to move so I can kiss your cold, thin lips, let my heart bleed, and know that Naraku is dead.

I will not die. I am above all gods.

And you can live again.

Can't you feel it?

Spring is upon us.